Highlands & Islands

Inverness knife attacker was in 'foul mood'

High Court in Edinburgh. Pic: Crown copyright
Image caption The court was told of Stewart's previous record of serious assaults

A man freed early from prison went onto carry out two knife attacks within 10 minutes of each other, the High Court in Edinburgh has heard.

Stephen Stewart, 20, of Inverness, admitted the assaults in the city on 18 March this year.

The court heard that his mother had described him as being in a "foul mood" and under the influence of drink or drugs on the night of the attacks.

Stewart will be sentenced once a background report has been made.

The court heard that his offending went back to when he was 16 and he was sentenced to 40 months detention in 2006 for assault to severe injury and danger of life.

Stewart was detained for three years in 2009 for a bottle attack resulting in severe injury and permanent disfigurement. He was out on licence from that sentence when he committed the latest attacks.

'I'm sorry'

In the latest incidents, he first attacked Andrew Sutherland by striking him on the face with a knife in Coronation Park.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson told the court: "Immediately having struck Mr Sutherland the accused showed remorse saying 'Don't phone the police, don't phone the police, don't grass me up. I'm sorry. I'm sorry'."

Mr Sutherland went home and called the police and asked for an ambulance.

He was taken to Raigmore Hospital where he had nine stitches put in the wound.

'Past record'

Stewart next approached Allan MacMillan who was with his girlfriend and her cousin.

Stewart asked him where he was from and when Mr MacMillan replied "Dingwall" he was butted in the face before being stabbed in the stomach.

Mr MacMillan and his two companions ran off before he realised he had been stabbed. He was also taken to hospital and kept in overnight for observation.

Judge Lord Tyre, who deferred sentence for a background report including a risk assessment, said: "Having regard to the nature of these offences and your past record you can expect to receive a substantial prison sentence."

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